Wasting time is in our nature. We can not avoid. Of course, it is not something we want. If this were not so, there would be many articles on how to work more efficiently.
Most of us waste time without being aware of it. The dreaded procrastination is part of our daily life, even for those who have the best intentions.
However, the first step we must take to solve a problem is admitting you have one. Or, if you think you have no problem, you should rethink surely.
Here are six common obstacles that hinder you from day to day.
1. Social Networks
This issue is first because you’ve probably already read countless articles that talk about the capabilities of social networks to absorb most of your time. And nobody likes to repeat the same thing over and over again … unless, of course, is really a problem for you 🙂
Even if you think you are one of those who manage well their social networks, you should take a look at how you do it. I propose an exercise. Excel creates a file (or just use paper and pencil) and points how long you spend each day on each of your accounts. Each time you enter a social network, write down the time. Do you really you connected and came out quickly? Or actually spent more time than you thought?
Just as it is very easy to have the feeling of being really productive because you spent all morning to your desktop, it’s easy to think you’ve just wasted your time on social networks. You know, time flies when you’re having fun.
Try to schedule your updates on social networks in advance, using programs such as Buffer. The real-time updates are perfect to respond or interact with someone, but the less time and disconnecting you miss logging into your account to share links, the better.
2. Navigating the network
Let us not only in social networks. The general use of the Internet is one of the leading causes of downtime. How many hours a day do you spend surfing from site to site?
It is very easy to get caught in an indefinite succession of links or articles. After all, someone took to create the most tempting holder possible. How not going to click on it?
The video on YouTube are especially guilty. Why not take a look at this video of five minutes on productivity by our favorite guru? Oops, wait; there is another video on how to lose 10 lbs. In one week. What five minutes matter? It’s nothing. Wait! There is another video of how it is not good idea to lose 10 lbs. In one week …
It was just fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of your working time that could have been exploited for more.
3. Slow Internet
Okay, I admit it: most freelancers today spend much time on the Web. And sometimes that time passes slowly, even if you have a good connection fail-over.
I often hear people complain that your browser is very slow and unstable. It is very easy to blame developers for using bad programming practices and not managing memory properly, but in my experience there is a common element: people who insist on having dozens of tabs open simultaneously. It is unproductive and pointless practice, and everyone should quit immediately. Opens enough browser tabs, and no matter what browser you’re using (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, Opera …): Your system will increasingly slow and eventually your browser will crash …
Adjust your browsing habits. Or, if you’re still using the same pack of connection to the modem and Internet Explorer you wore in the 90 …jump into your time machine and join us in the future 🙂
4. Endless Answers
A 2012 research study showed that use approximately 28% of our work week reading and answering emails. If you work five days a week for a year, you need about 73 days to respond mails.
If you create predefined answers, you learn to delete what you do not need, and abbreviates your answer, you can decrease this time exponentially. We talked about it in depth in our article “10 ways to reduce the time you spend with email”. If mail is one of the tasks that more time you spend, I recommend checking out.
The tens of SMS or whatsapp you arrive daily are also a huge black hole that absorbs your time alone. Answers to these messages later, during your next break. Or better yet, unplug your phone (or at least notifications) while you’re working. I assure you that the time will spread more.
5. No plans
Could you planning a road trip without a map or GPS? Of course not. Dedicate a few hours to know where to go.
Same with your career as a freelancer. Even in your everyday life. If you go if you have a plan in mind, it is quite likely to miss much time.
Set goals, both short and long term. From creating connections for your professional development to make a list of personal goals. Almost everything can become a target. Put it in writing and draw a plan (your “map”).
6. Personal Questions
I can sound a bit cynical. but no further loss of time that you spend time doubting yourself. Go ahead and write it on a card put on the wall.
Seriously, many freelancers lose a huge amount of time questioning themselves every second. It is what is known as the impostor syndrome. And no matter what discipline you devote.
You have decided to manage your own business – or be your own business – for a reason. Do not forget why you started or why keep doing it. Trust yourself and do not waste time wondering if you’re good enough. If you’ve come so far I can assure you that you are.